Friday, September 28, 2007

Arrogance

Someone once said (no idea who) that a writer had to have a bit of arrogance to succeed, and it seemed so obviously true to me. When I mention this to other writers they get a bit upset, and that always surprises me, but I suppose arrogant isn't considered very nice.

Yet without a touch of arrogance how am I supposed to think that what I'm writing is either important enough or interesting enough that other people should read it instead of something else better?

And when I look at those writers, published or (often enough) unpublished who actually churn stuff out... quite often the ones *producing* are, in my opinion, rather arrogant.

Where is the self-doubt that I struggle with? It sometimes makes me a little angry. How dare they be so full of themselves that they think they can succeed at this?

I think of one of the men in a script-writing group I went to a couple of times. He was a nice, helpful, guy. But he was arrogant when it came to his writing. He really was. It didn't seem to ever occur to him that his terribly important social-issue stories and utterly fabulous ideas (he actually asked us to not tell anyone and absolutely not take a certain idea ourselves... which was essentially an "in someone else's shoes" concept applied to a prominent international political issue) seemed... trite. Well, they seemed trite to me because I disagreed with him on social issues and politics. The others didn't seem to think they were trite. They were also *arrogant* ideas in that he presumed to preach on social issues that he had no experience with whatsoever. Normally I reject the idea that a person can only write about their own situation but when the whole *point* of the story is a racial statement?

Anyhow, that's not the point I meant to make. My point was that this guy very well may sell something, may become a selling scriptwriter and make lots of money, and the reason that he will isn't because his ideas are so great. The reason he will most likely be successful is because he *believes* his ideas are so great. And he *writes* them.

It's just a touch of arrogance. Just a touch.

But I'm convinced that it's essential. And I'm trying to talk myself into a similar state. Just enough full of myself to believe, to really believe, that the world *needs* my stories, that the world will be a poorer place if I don't do the work, that I'm talented enough and perceptive enough that it's simply a matter of *doing* it.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Neo wrote much concerning the writing fixation. One part elevated self-esteem, other part dramatic mania.

Also the difference I see between wisdom and experience is that wisdom can come from not just your own experience but somebody else's. Thus even if you do not have experience, you can still write as if you did, so long as you have wisdom. But if you don't have wisdom and you don't have experience... then it's hot air time.

1:40 AM  

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